With Rangers back in UEL action tomorrow night, it sets the stage for Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s maiden bow as boss at Ibrox.
But what should Rangers fans expect from the selection he picks?
The big question is will GVB make big bold changes from the typical SG era side, or will he keep the status quo?
Gio himself gave three big clues in his press conference on Monday:
The first one was that he’s all about youth, and with his experience of coming through Feyenoord’s Academy, he is keep to play as many young players as possible. His key phrase was if you’re good enough, you’re old enough. In fairness, the ex said something similar when he took over and he proceeded to completely ignore Auchenhowie, and Rangers managers historically do have a bad record for the Academy, but we want to trust GVB to his word.
The second big clue is about hunger and desire. He doesn’t want any hangers-on, and he will judge what he sees in training as an indicator of a player’s levels of attitude. Players have to show real commitment and train hard, otherwise under this manager they won’t get a look in.
Can we really expect to see the likes of Morelos, Barisic, Tavernier, Goldson and Kamara benched?
Fans are eager to see the hungrier players given a shout, and that’s where we get to the third key clue.
Gio was clear that this is a blank slate, a fresh start. It doesn’t matter who has been playing up till now, or what they’ve achieved in the shirt, he judges everyone equally.
From Allegria to Sakala, whoever you are, Gio will give you all the same chance to impress.
So can we expect wholesale changes?
There could well be some, yes.
Gio would be naïve to completely rip up the whole squad/XI and play a bunch of untested players, because that would be unwise. But having seen what he witnessed on Sunday, don’t be shocked to see major changes in that XI going forward.
We shall see ourselves tomorrow night.